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COYOTES MAKE FINAL DECISION IN THE MITCH MILLER SITUATION AND RENOUNCE HIS RIGHTS

The Arizona Coyotes will be parting ways with their top selection in the 2020 draft pick. The team has officially renounce dits rights to Mitchell Miller, who was convicted of bullying a developmentally disabled black schoolmate when both were 14 years old.

"We have decided to renounce the rights to Mitchell Miller, effective immediately," said Coyotes' President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez. "Prior to selecting Mitchell in the NHL Draft, we were aware that a bullying incident took place in 2016. We do not condone this type of behavior but embraced this as a teachable moment to work with Mitchell to make him accountable for his actions and provide him with an opportunity to be a leader on anti-bullying and anti-racism efforts. We have learned more about the entire matter, and more importantly, the impact it has had on Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family. What we learned does not align with the core values and vision for our organization and leads to our decision to renounce our draft rights. On behalf of the Arizona Coyotes ownership and our entire organization, I would like to apologize to Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family. We are building a model franchise on and off the ice and will do the right thing for Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family, our fans and our partners. Mr. Miller is now a free agent and can pursue his dream of becoming an NHL player elsewhere."

Miller has reportedly failed to apologize or show remorse for his actions towards Meyer-Crothers, which involve racial slurs, punching and tricking the boy into licking a lollipop that had been wiped in a urinal. Another unnamed party was involved in one or more of the incidents but the mother, Joni, states he apologized to her son's face. Her son accepted that apology and forgave him. Miller did write a letter to all NHL teams in advance of the draft apologizing for his actions, but has yet to reach out to the boy he bullied according to his mother.

Miller was drafted using the Coyotes first pick in 2020, which actually came in the fourth round after trades and punishments from the NHL for running its own draft combine outside of the only official one allowed a few days before the draft itself.



The story also caught the eye of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which condemned Miller for his actions and the Arizona Coyotes for picking him in the draft.

TIM TUCKER
OCTOBER 29, 2020  (14H33)